Please direct media inquiries to our media contacts listed below during normal business hours, Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. For urgent requests, contact us via email after hours, on weekends or major holidays.
Information for Journalists
ECHN welcomes the opportunity to work with the media in general and to help journalists get the information they are requesting. We urge that all journalists call us (using the contact information above) before contacting a physician, an employee or a patient at Manchester Memorial Hospital, Rockville General Hospital or ECHN before go to one of the hospitals or specific location.
Because patient care is our primary mission at ECHN, it is our responsibility to safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of all patients.
- Patients must give written permission before being interviewed, filmed or photographed.
- Marketing and communications staff must accompany a member of the media while in ECHN’s inpatient or outpatient buildings.
- Marketing and communications can work with you to coordinate requests ahead of time, determine whether an interview is possible, coordinate the arrangements, and meet and accompany the media representative to the interview.
ECHN follows the American Hospital Association (AHA) guidelines regarding patient privacy issues contained in the Health Insurance and Portability Act (HIPAA). Therefore, ECHN is not able to provide a patient’s name if requested. If the member of the media provides the patient’s name, ECHN will provide a one-word condition update.
There are times however when we will be unable to provide a condition or even confirm that a specific patient is in our hospital due to HIPAA provisions. Examples might include a patient that has opted out of our information system, who are hospitalized under a different name such as an alias and patients that are in for psychiatric reasons or victims of abuse.
The official AHA one-word patient conditions along with each definition are outlined below.
- Undetermined: Patient is awaiting physician and assessment.
- Good: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious and comfortable. Indicators are excellent.
- Fair: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious but may be uncomfortable. Indicators are favorable.
- Serious: Vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits. Patient is acutely ill. Indicators are questionable.
- Critical: Vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits. Patient may be unconscious. Indicators are not favorable.
- Deceased: Vital signs are persistently absent. The term “vital signs” means indicators such as blood pressure, pulse, temperature and respiration.
To find out the condition of a hospitalized patient during business hours, please call the Marketing and Communications office.